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It’s been a little over two weeks since I’ve started this blog.

And honestly, the response I’ve gotten has really blown me away. I am so grateful for all those who have been chatting/e-mailing/talking to me about my posts: the fact that people are actually reading this is way more than what I expected.

So first and foremost…thank you to all that are reading. Don’t stop! Please! ^_^

Now, I’d like to formally check in with you, the readers.


Taking a Poetry Class in college was the easiest “A” I ever got.

Thoughhhh, at first, it wasn’t so easy. Admittedly, not everyone got A’s in my class. And I was horrible at writing poetry. I mean…HORRIBLE.

My idea of awesome poetry could probably be summed up in the poem My Beard, by Shel Silverstein:

My beard grows to my toes
I never wears no clothes,
I wraps my hair
Around my bare,
And down the road I goes.

See? Awesome!

My college professor did NOT share in my sentiment. And after weeks of trying (and failing) to make halfway decent poetry, I turned to my architecture skills to pull me out of this mess.

And all that meant was for me to look at the style of my professor and emulate it. Sucking up was usually the best way to get an “A” in an art-based class. Just saying.

So what I needed to do was create poems with words that didn’t necessarily make sense together, but made sounds that went nicely together. Add in a bit of sexual innuendo, sprinkle in a couple random paragraph indentations, and throw in either some religious imagery or pop culture, and BAM. You gots yourself a recipe for “A”-worthy poetry.

Want an example? I give you, American Sonnet #1, my first “A+” poem:

Let me tell you,
ooh, how you shoo away the Scooby-Doo spooks
that haunt my mental attic at midnight hours.
Yet your eyes dig into me like a diamond-tipped
drill, chiseling away at my chaste thoughts and planting
seeds of tangled limbs and steamy sighs.
Ooh, the shivers that shift down my spine taste like
rainbow Skittles, scattering down and shattering the
windowpanes of my suburban red-brick house nerves.
And the Tide-freshness of your chest causes me to press
my face deeper into that place between your pulsating
heart and exposed throat,
messily inhaling the heat that clings but slowly gets washed away
with every exhale, like makeup melting off in an April shower.
I don’t know what was funnier: the fact that my professor gushed at how it “transcended the conventional rules of form and became simply excellent works of art,” or that I actually started to enjoy writing these kinds of poems: it almost became a game for me to write progressively more crazy poems through the voice of an alter-ego I didn’t know I had. And my professor loved them all.

In the end, what I learned was that they shouldn’t call getting your Bachelors of Art a “B.A.”

Despite the fact that I did end up enjoying poetry class, the majority of our work was still just a colorful pile of “B.S.”

For much much more of my hipster poetry…well, you’ll have to ask. I only have the hard copy of my class portfolio gathering dust somewhere in my apartment.

Well, I’m at work with nothing to do but answer phones…

So why not fill out one of those online interview things? Here are 30 things you probably didn’t know about me. If you’re as bored as I am right now, you’ll probably read this entire thing.

In no particular order…

  1. Fake hair grosses me out (wigs, fake eyelashes, included) thanks to a traumatic experience I had working at the Cancer Institute during High School.
  2. I started working when I was 13 years old as an intern for the Embassy of El Salvador in Washington DC.
  3. I was the first person in my extended family to be born in the United States.
  4. When I was a little kid, I knew that I wanted to be an artist when I grew up.
  5. I’m deathly scared of bugs with wings, but arachnids like spiders and scorpions don’t scare me.
  6. I’m a hand-holder. I hope my future boyfriend/husband doesn’t mind. My family always gets super-annoyed when I try to grab their hands when we walk around.
  7. I think robots are all secretly evil…waiting for their chance to take over mankind.
  8. I love watching football and soccer, but can’t stand watching baseball and basketball.
  9. I can do real push-ups but have never once been able to do a pull-up.
  10. My favorite flower is the cherry blossom. Sadly, though my hometown is right by DC, I haven’t ever been to the Cherry Blossom Festival.
  11. My favorite Disney movie is Cinderella, though out of all the Disney Princesses, I relate to her the least.
  12. Broccoli makes me gag.
  13. I’ve climbed the Great Wall of China.
  14. If I could change one thing about me, physically, it would be my height. (God, why couldn’t you let me have just 2 more inches???)
  15. I love scary movies. Especially zombie flicks. I have NO idea why.
  16. If I could be reborn as anything, I would want the same life, but as a guy. Guys have so many advantages…
  17. I would rather eat a bag of my favorite chips than a slice of my favorite cake.
  18. I always set my clothes out the night before.
  19. My favorite thing to play in the casino are the penny slots with the bonus spins. Oh, and the 25cent Wheel of Fortune Machine.
  20. I have an odd number of piercings.
  21. If I have a piece of paper in my hands, I will fold it over and over again. If I have a pen with the paper, I will doodle over everything.
  22. My favorite cold beverage is Arizona Peach Ice Tea.
  23. My favorite hot beverage is coffee. A nice dark roast with a little bit of cream and sugar.
  24. According to my Chinese horoscope, my ideal guy will be born in 1978, 1982, 1988, 1990, or 1994.
  25. All 4 of my grandparents are North Korean refugees.
  26. My favorite arcade game is a toss-up between the Coin-pusher game and Ski Ball.
  27. I’m really really good at Whack-A-Mole.
  28. I get headaches when I don’t drink coffee.
  29. I think guy-liner is totally hot.
  30. I get totally creeped out when guys do the chesticle pec bouncing thing. It’s sooooo weird.

Uh. That’s it. Now it’s time for me to skedaddle! Work is OVAH!

Despite the rain, I felt good.

Sure, I spent most of my afternoon running through a miserable downpour of rain in my nice shoes and clothes (feebly covered by my broken umbrella), but I got to all my appointments on time and dried off fairly easily. The meetings all went off without a hitch, and things were looking up.

In our last meeting of the day, my boss and I walked around Chelsea with a landscape architect from San Francisco. We decided to pop our heads in Spice Market to show her a lighting detail we wanted to use on our project. With sketchbook and camera in hand, I took notes on several things and as we made our way out, I reached for the door to open it.

I was mid-sentence when I almost crashed straight into Ye Eun of the Wondergirls, who stared at me in surprise.

I looked pretty stupid then, wide-eyed and mouth agape in shock.

All I remember saying (and a little bit too loud), was “OMOH!” (Korean translation: “OMIGOSH!”) I saw a camera man in the background, filming her and Yoo Bin as they were about to enter the restaurant.

I bowed and said “hi” and stammered for an autograph, thrusting my opened sketchbook and pen at them. While they were signing, I contemplated whether or not to also ask for a picture, but my boss and the architect were still standing right behind me, wondering who these girls I was babbling to in Korean were.

Autograph in hand, I decided against taking more of their time and my associates’ time and left sans photo (though I still wonder if I should have asked…)

Thanks, Ye Eun and Yoo Bin!

Still, how fun was that?

As I left to go home that day, I called my friend Vicki to gush about my K-Pop encounter in Chelsea. We both agreed that as awesome as it would have been to have also met their boy-band counterparts (2PM), I would have probably called Vicki as my one phonecall from prison…

…because I would have tried stuffing them in my purse so I could take them home with me.

I leave you with this. Enjoy their most recent hit: 2 Different Tears (featuring Bobby Lee).

I remember those days back in Ocean City, Maryland.

Our family would go every break and stay at my grandparents’ motel, run around the sandy beach, and go visit our favorite game rooms on the Boardwalk. I can remember so many details…every smell, every sound, every sight…

But that’s for another entry at another time.

In this particular memory, I was a little under 10 at the time, and I discovered the most powerful weapon an evil older sister with a scaredy-cat younger brother could find. And oh, how I cherished that power.

Dotting along the beach’s coast were dried skate egg sacs: dark, black, alien-looking husks with menacing tentacle-like protrusions. Perfect for picking up and freaking out little brothers.

I spent the majority of that day hiding the sacs under Peter’s pillow (for him to discover when he’s about to go to bed), in my pocket (for the perfect opportunity to spontaneously grab and throw at him), and just chasing him with the thing, purposefully slowly my pace to prolong the chase.

He screamed, he hid, he cried, and me (again, being the evil older sister I was), had a jolly old time. I remember having to take breaks to catch my breath between laughing fits…

10 years later…

I look at my clock. Almost 1:00 am.

I roll over to turn my desk lamp off before going to bed when I see the little bugger hugging the wall above my head.

Silverfish. AUGH. Gross!

They may be common in Maryland (and all throughout the East Coast), but I still can’t get over their creepiness factor combined with their habit of hiding in books. Cracking open my favorite novel, all cozy in bed, and having a skittering silverfish dash out is enough to age me about 10 years per traumatic event.

I knew what to do.

Tiptoeing across the hall, I knock softly on Peter’s door. He’s asleep, I know, but there’s no way I’m gonna kill that thing on my own.

Opening the door, I see him snuggled under his comforter, only his bare, gangly ankle sticking out.

I grab his ankle and shake it vigorously.

“Peter…” I whisper loudly. “Are you awaaaake?”

He groans and rolls over. “Whaaaat?”

“There’s a silverfish in my rooooom. Help!”

He rolls out of bed, sleepy, his stereotypically slitted Asian eyes somehow even smaller than usual. As I tip-toe back to my room, I hear him drag his feet noisily behind me.

“There!” I whisper, pointing to the wall.

Peter walks up to the wall and puts his face a foot away from the bug. For a few seconds, he peers at the thing through his sleep-puffed eyes.

Without warning, he slaps the wall with his bare hand and squishes the silverfish.

I jump.

He stares at the dead bug plastered on his hand before pushing past my frozen figure to wash it off in the bathroom. Without a word, he walks back to his room, closes the door behind him and goes back to sleep.

I stare at my bug-less wall for another minute.

Shaking my head, I turn off my light and go to bed myself.

I can’t believe that boy used to be afraid of dried egg sacs.

I’ve been so tired.

I suppose I could blame the long work hours…the consistent lack of sleep…feeling depressed from recent events…having to work out late at night…struggling to figure out where I am going in the next year…or…even, just being lonely.

But in reality, I know what the problem is, and what it has always been.

It started (again) two months ago. Every single morning before work, I’ve been waking up exactly 30 minutes before I have to leave the door, and snooze-buttoning in every minute I can afford.

But even when I am rushing through the few minutes I have to get ready, I have found time to open my computer and check my Facebook. I actually looked forward to the satisfaction of the comments and “likes” my posts generated and have often felt intense disappointment when there are none. I was using Facebook as a means to receive attention. To receive some sort of validation. And sadly, this addiction was doubly a distraction from everything else that was actually important.

Last night, as I tossed in bed, wide awake and anxious about something that (in hindsight) wasn’t worth losing sleep over…and the first thing I did was reach over and grab my laptop to see if anyone wrote.

But before I could open the lid, I stopped in horror when I realized that I was running to a social networking website to seek comfort. And in that moment of stillness, my hand frozen on the cover of my MacBook, and my eyes wide in the darkness, I felt God quietly whisper my name.

And it slapped me in the face when I realized Who I was ignoring all this time. I took my computer off of my bed and rolled over, staring wildly into the off-white ceiling.

“I haven’t had a quiet time in two months…” I muttered in shock.

Taking a deep breath, I continued: “I have no motivation to do anything but work, work out a little, and go online…”

In frustration, I spoke louder into the night. “I haven’t been able to come up with a single comic, finish my last painting, or even lose the small amount weight I set a goal to lose. I haven’t been doing ANYTHING.”

“I am apathetic because I have no inspiration. I have no inspiration because I have no passion. I have no passion because I have no purpose. I have no purpose because I am not close to You.” These things I’ve known since high school were coming full circle to me again, almost a decade later.

I looked over at my sleeping MacBook and felt sick when my stomach churned with longing to open it…was I that far away from God that I valued what others said over what He has planned for me?

This wasn’t right. I’ve done this before…exactly one year ago…and yet I’ve made the same mistake again. How many times was I going to go through this cycle?

With only a short month away from going to Haiti, I know that I have to nip this in the bud a lot earlier than I may have allowed before. I need to be prepared for this trip in every sense. Physically, mentally, emotionally…and especially spiritually.

My apologies to all those people who actually did enjoy my FB posts, but for now, getting off of Facebook and focusing on developing this blog/website and my comics is the first step of my (as my beloved Professor Art Lubetz would always say) “taking mental Exlax to clear my creative constipation.”

And…I suppose getting back on my quiet times in the morning will be the hot water bottle that’ll help ease the pain from the aftermath of my painful cleansing process…and provide the comfort I need when the other stuffs in life  try to get me down.

Fighting? Fighting!

3 times is 3 times too many…

Unfortunately, that’s how many of my very amazing brothers-in-Christ unexpectedly passed away during the past several weeks…

And I’m…just…so sad. So very…very sad. But even more so, I feel sorry. So, so sorry…for the families left behind.

It’s times like this that I wish I could do something to change anything. The only comfort I have is that you are all with God right now, but…life is already so short, and it really doesn’t feel fair that you all had to leave even sooner. I have never been very good at expressing my pain to my friends, and I am sorry for not being able to really open up to those who asked how I was “feeling” in light of these circumstances. But tonight, like any other night, I just want to go home and cope with these feelings in the quiet of my room and the presence of God alone. For now, all I can do is say my goodbyes and pay my respects to those who have gone on.

Goodbye, Mr. Allan Tibbels.

You were my first mentor and real-life inspiration to be greater than my physical limitations, a passionate builder of firm foundations and homes for those in need, and a pursuer of excellence in the name of Christ. You were a man I wished to not only work side-by-side with once I “made it” as an architect, but a man I could only dream of one day succeeding. You worked and fought hard for those who were unable to fight for themselves, and you did it without a single word of complaint, even despite the pain from your illness. You showed the world a deep dedication and strength that I pray I can grow to attain. You set the standard for the rest of my life.

Goodbye, David Stevens.

For years at Bridgeway, I had the privilege of knowing and serving with you through worship. You were a powerful worshipper, singing every Sunday with passion and abandon. You showed bravery in ways I would never be able to in the face of the cancer that you knew was taking over. Your bright attitude, your love for your family, your sense of humor, and the peace you emanated at death’s doorstep taught me how life was meant to be lived to its fullest. Your presence will be missed.

Goodbye, Daniel Cho.

So amazingly talented, yet the most humbly introverted artist I had ever met. Your passing was the most shocking and unexpected…When you said your goodbyes before you left to tour with Regina Spektor, I had no idea that it was going to be like this. You had the ability to fill the entire church auditorium with your music, but never did anything to draw attention for yourself. You made us all feel welcome and comfortable, effortlessly supporting the entire team with your abilities and soft smiles. And most of all, between every set, I saw you look for your wife and child so you could sit with and be near them. You loved them so much, that I actually felt energy from just watching your family lovingly and quietly interact during and after services. Though you are gone now, I know you left them with a clear understanding of how much you loved them.




All of your lives, though tragically cut short, have shown me, and all those you’ve touched, what life is worth living for. For love, for passion, and for Him. May God be with your families during this time.

“I’m hooooome!”

With an “oomph”, I kick the old wood door shut behind me.

“Man, today was rough. The interior designer we’re working with has absolutely NO idea what he’s doing with this project!” In relief, I heave my overflowing bag onto my bed and walk over to the Air Conditioner to turn it on.

“Geez,” I sigh. “How can you handle this kind of heat all day?” I stand in front of the cool air for a couple of seconds before walking to my closet to change.

“It was sooooooo hot on the bus…” I bemoan as I peel off my sticky work clothes and hop into a cool, dry pair of cotton pajama pants and baggy t-shirt. “The driver refused to turn on his A/C.”

Opening up the fridge, I stare into the emptiness momentarily before grabbing the pitcher of chilled Brita water. As I pour myself a glass, I stretch and rub my eyes. When I pull my hand back, I notice a black smear running across my skin.

“Crap. I forgot I was wearing eye make-up again.” I jam the pitcher back into the fridge and stumble to the bathroom mirror where I see a panda-eyed girl staring back. “Ew. Time to wash that off.”

Once the eyeliner is gone, I walk back to my bed and unpack my bag. “Charge my cell phone, charge my iPod, charge my camera…” I check each item off under my breath while plugging them into their respective chargers.

“Oh yeah. My water.” I walk back to the kitchen and chug back the slightly warmer water. “Bleagh. I should have put my Diet Coke in the fridge before I left.”

With everything in it’s place, I finally slump onto my bed and grab my laptop. I turn on the TV, lean back, lift the lid of the laptop, and turn to my companion.

Two beady black eyes stare back at me in silence, but I know that his expression is friendly nonetheless.

“It’s good to be home.” I sigh, and squeeze him affectionately.

I am not a morning person.

Which, admittedly, is the baseline standard of how I am, but after yet another night of tossing and turning  (all thanks to the toddler next door performing her nightly high-pitched tantrum screaming ritual) and vainly attempting to get comfortable in the sauna that was my apartment, this characteristic of mine was doubled. (I did manage to fall asleep dreaming of ways to sneak into the apartment next door and silence the child…)

When my alarm went off, my sheets felt like soft, soft molassas, sticking to my body and keeping me comfortably molded to my IKEA fold-out bed. My cell phone was out of arm’s reach (my kingdom for longer limbs!) so I forced myself to sit up and start getting ready for work.

My head felt as though it were full of cotton balls, and my eyes were still cloudy from the few hours it managed to rest. I almost walked by the little moth that was perched on the wall above my dresser.


I suppose I should mention…I am also not a bug person. And I am a neat freak. So a bug entering into the sanctuary of my spankin’ clean apartment is a biiiiiig no-no. I’m not a very fearful person (my love for rollercoasters, horror movies, and bungee jumping notwithstanding), and I know they are technically harmless, but still…

…ever since I was little (and up til now), I’ve suffered severely from Lepidopterophobia…their manic, erratic movements, the muffled, ghostly sounds of their wings, the repulsive sensation of their eerie, brittle bodies crumpling beneath you (should you attempt to eliminate them)…I actually started crying when I had to go into the butterfly conservatory on a family vacation. I was 20.

So killing the intruder was obviously out of the question. At least by means of crushing. That would require me to get close enough to touch it. The only other method was the trap-it-in-a-cup-and-slide-the-paper-underneath method.

Which took me a lot longer than it should have, but nonetheless was a success.

The problem is, I didn’t know what to do with the Cup of Moth once I had it sitting on my bathroom sink counter. Hopefully, it’s still in there, baking in the heat of the apartment while I’m sitting here at work.

I pray that by the time I get home, it’s still in the cup. And dead. Burnt to a crisp. So I can flush it down the toilet without worrying about it flying into my face.

God forbid it’s not in the cup by the time I get back, I’m going to have another night of night of serious tossing and turning.

And if it’s in the cup, but still alive…well…I’m patient.

After all, the heat wave isn’t going to let up for another week, and I prefer my Cup of Moth extra roasted.

A Cartoon Stuck in a Real Girl’s Body

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July 2010
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